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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Where Are They Now ? Part 1 Northwest Cowboy



Labor Day. Those two words describe a holiday meant to honor workers, but Labor Day also portends the end of summer, back to the grind and back to school. But what happens AFTER graduation? My daughter and her friends graduated from Wilson in 2011, and DC ROCKS will be digging around to see where they are now.

First up is Will Mitchell, who like many students, spent his high school years somewhat confused.  He knew "something was wrong" with the way the world worked, but didn't know what exactly. Then, after changing his major multiple times at Penn State, a stint on a cattle farm in Maryland helped Mitchell find his focus.

Sustainability.

Mitchell then graduated in four years with a double major in Geography and Energy Business and Finance, plus a minor in Environmental Inquiry(!) One smart cookie, he took that diploma right back to Glen Mary Farm where he teamed up with owner JD Schmidt to grow grass in just the right way for beef cattle. Soon after Mitchell started his own venture- the Tenleytown Meat Company. Check it out!

Unlike most farm to table vendors, there's an economic twist here. Beef and lamb are sold in bulk for two reasons: to keep prices down and to give the farmer some economic stability. (The web site shows a only fairly small amount of freezer real estate needs to be devoted to an order, but if you are really short on space, consider sharing a purchase with a neighbor.)

Plus cattle are not just grass fed, but completely grass finished- something not easy to find- even at Whole Foods- partly because there is no legal definition of how long an animal has to be in the pasture to qualify as "grass fed."

Finally in keeping with that sustainability theme, orders are delivered by a very cool custom fitted bicycle. (pun intended) Mitchell hopes his model will "influence other businesses to incorporate bicycles into their plans for growth and evolution."

By the by, when Mitchell is not wrapped up in business, he is back at his alma mater, coaching the boy's novice crew team.  (Just can't hide that Tiger Pride.)

Will Mitchell- DC ROCKS salutes you!




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